Tuesday, September 3, 2019

One Forgets

During my time of rarely violated absenteeism from blogging, I’d quite forgotten how much labor goes into this activity. Now memory is itself a vast subject. One of its mysteries is that we often forget something; that “something” can be quite trivial or complex; the truth is that we often simply don’t remember... Then, some short period after, our better half (usually), says something like “I’ve got it!” and she (or he) then produces a name or an account. Our mind then immediately knows that it also know—and can meaningful make additions to the partner’s first mention. In other words, we know that we remember before we actually know. So it was with the matter of forgetting the effort that blogging constitutes. The memories were instantly back when I settled before this machine to do today’s little chore. But no chore in blogging is ever “little.”

One thought I had some time after writing the last posting was that the decay of a civilization is marked by many events indicative of decay which seem to be far and few but definitely cumulating in “slow motion”; but so do many events that ultimately signal something positive—the slow appearance of a new order of thought and feeling which in their turn set the stage for the birth of another culture somewhen in the far future, i.e., also in slow motion. “I’ll write about that tomorrow,” I said to myself while reaching for the lights-out switch.

When we are no longer accustomed to put our thoughts on paper (figuratively, these days), we forget that notions that seem self-evident to us are not so obvious at all. They need illustration and presentation backed by lucid argument. And half the time the intuition is correct but to flesh it out is labor.

Therefore, a mere note today to hint at future content. Let me simply say that the nineteenth century already showed, in many developments that surfaced then (e.g., in psychology and in religion to name two subjects) that the Age of Reason began, having reached its peak in the eighteenth, to build a new way of thought even as rationalism was just beginning to decay into what we now label materialism (to pick a single word). More anon.

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